S.L.O.W. feels fast (Single Lane One Way)

A single one way lane provides total vehicular access, while maximizing the space available for city life. Continue reading S.L.O.W. feels fast (Single Lane One Way)

Additional Readings: Narrow Streets

Related Books/Theses: “Tight Urbanism” by Daniel Tool. “Neo Medieval Urbanism” by Angela Rose Bagnasco   Related Excerpts: 4. Small, tight streets work great, and so do wide streets, if designed right. Walking through the Gothic Quarter, one can’t help but think of everything we see in terms of scale. The tight streets and alleys with high, enclosing building heights that, combined with the street widths, … Continue reading Additional Readings: Narrow Streets

Walking in Kamakura

The walkability of central Kamakura is defined by three north-south spines: The Komachi-Dori Shotengai (nighttime walk-through video) Car-free Hokoten every day from 4 pm to 7 pm (Sundays and holidays 10 am to 4 pm). Stretches 590 meters (1,940 feet) north from Kamakura Station (JR East and Enoshima/Enoden lines) to Hachimangu Shrine. The Onari-Dori Shotengai (daytime walk-through video) Car-free Hokoten every day from 4 pm … Continue reading Walking in Kamakura

The Shibuya You Don’t Know

Stock photos and televised clips of Shibuya usually depict only the iconic scramble intersection, but there is a lot more to this central Tokyo neighborhood. In fact, in Shibuya’s liveliest commercial districts, you never have to wait to cross the street (these are the “Nightlife Alleys” described in The Hierarchy of Japanese Streets). The following screenshots from Walking in Shibuya at night by Rambalac reveal a true pedestrian … Continue reading The Shibuya You Don’t Know

Hokoten: Tokyo’s Big Three (ホコ天 / 歩行者天国)

“Hokoten” translates literally as “Walker’s Paradise”, and it refers to the practice of (temporarily) switching a roadway from vehicular use to pedestrian use, usually during lunch hour, weekends, or special events. Currently, there are three major weekly Hokoten in Tokyo (the following facts & figures come from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police): Akihabara: ~570 meters (~1,870 feet) of Chuo-dori (highlighted below in red). Sundays April – … Continue reading Hokoten: Tokyo’s Big Three (ホコ天 / 歩行者天国)

The Ahistorical Vision of “Bus Before Rail”

There is a widespread assumption that urban transit should develop incrementally, progressing from bus to light rail to heavy rail, with the success of each mode justifying the viability of the next. – This model of development is ahistorical, if not revisionist.  We know that historically profitable rail transit thrived long before buses arrived on the scene.  Moreover, there are essentially zero documented cases of … Continue reading The Ahistorical Vision of “Bus Before Rail”

Explosive Ridership Growth on Tokyo Metro

While the population of Tokyo as a whole is growing quite slowly, some parts of the city are experiencing change at a dizzying pace.  This phenomenon is most visible in the massive construction projects at Shibuya, Shinagawa, and Tokyo Station. In contrast to Tokyo’s slow and steady population growth, the following numbers (for stations on Tokyo Metro) are really quite massive. Station Name:  2012 Ridership  ->  2015 … Continue reading Explosive Ridership Growth on Tokyo Metro

Island of Walkability: Onomichi (尾道)

Most of the commercial life of Onomichi is concentrated in a compact strip about 6,400 feet long, varying from ~200 to ~1,000 feet in width.   The fully roofed (アーケード) portion of Onomichi’s central shopping street (商店街) is about 3,000 feet long. This commercial core is separated from the waterfront by two lanes of traffic (one lane in each direction) with a relatively high speed limit (40 … Continue reading Island of Walkability: Onomichi (尾道)